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To Build an Ark or not?

Photo Credit: Murtaza Imran Ali,

By Mark Elliott Shapiro

Translated from the Hebrew by the author


on the 45th anniversary of my Aliyah to Israel, to this holy, pure land

I ask myself:"to build an ark or not?

Should I close myself within a tiny walled space

of indifference, of a refusal to look at reality,

to protect myself from the wave of hatred,

terror knives Molotov cocktails bombs and rockets?

Should I say to myself: "But I have no choice –

We must all learn to live with this situation"?

But I came on Aliyah to Israel to build and to be built –

As the classic Zionist song says

But perhaps I can build a huge ark

that could contain all of us

All the inhabitants of this land, this volcanic land

And all the wild animals (including my cat, of course) and domestic beasts

And all the flowers and trees

An ark that would be resistant to the fire of hatred

to the waves of cries of "Murder!"

to a cruel sun of violence

An ark that would joyfully accept a blessed rain

of understanding

the warm drops of love and solidarity

And the sky would be bathed in the mighty light of

Bolts of lightning

Illuminating our minds

And perhaps I shall invite Ahmed and Leila and Luke and Mary

to build this ark together with me

And perhaps there will not even be a need

to finish the ark

Perhaps there is only the need to be part of the process of building it?

Written and translated in Beersheva on October 12, 2015 



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